Investing in local nonprofits
Our core program fosters the growth and development of grassroots and community-based organizations
HDI changing the way development is done in Haiti.
Despite the billions of dollars donated to Haiti over the last decade, little systemic progress can be seen, especially in rural communities.
Local Haitian organizations and businesses received an estimated 0.6% of all emergency relief and reconstruction aid.
Over the last few decades, Haitian community-based organizations, international nonprofits (INGOs), and philanthropists have struggled to fill the gap left by government and support the provision of basic services and economic opportunities to poor Haitian communities throughout the country. However, much of this money has been spent outside of the country with international nonprofits and much of the aid has been delivered in the form of short-term projects, with little investment in creating conditions to ensure sustainability. The lack of systemic development progress in Haiti can be largely attributed to the lack of investment in building Haitian civil society and strong Haitian institutions.
Research demonstrates that when decisions are made locally and resources are used locally, the impact is magnified.
Why is it important to invest in Haitian civil society?
The true nature of poverty can be felt most deeply in rural communities throughout the country. Without access to government programs, individuals and especially families rely upon their communities to provide them the support and services they need to survive on a daily basis. Community-based organizations (CBOs) are central to the health and wellness of these rural communities. CBOs often play three roles in their community: as advocates in the design of poverty alleviating strategies, as service providers, and as watchdogs to ensure government fulfillment of commitments. CBOs across Haiti’s rural landscape work to foster change in education, health, and economic outcomes through agriculture, livestock, and enterprises.
Why isn't more money and aid provided to Haitian grassroots organizations and communities?
Many community based organizations suffer from a lack of capacity because of a lack of support and funding.
Despite the tremendous value CBOs provide to their local communities, many do not receive adequate support or funding. Often philanthropists and foundations cite large barriers to investing locally, such as onerous international regulations, perceived corruption, and lack of organizational capacity of CBOs. So while there is compelling evidence for the importance of investing locally, most resources continue to be centralized and concentrated in urban areas. There exists a gap between local CBOs with deep ties to their communities and philanthropists, who are interested in investing in and working in local communities but are unsure of how to properly engage.
Lack of organizational capacity is indeed an issue. Many CBOs suffer from insufficient leadership, piecemeal technical skills, poor collaboration, limited innovation, and unhealthy competition for funding. Unfortunately, the lack of capacity within the Haitian nonprofit sector can be attributed in part to the failure of international philanthropy to invest in building local capacity and knowledge.
Development Done Differently
HDI invests in local Haitian nonprofits to enable sustainable development and to increase the impact of aid to Haiti. This means that your money will have greater impact and go farther.
Our objective is to invest directly in local communities through community-based organizations (CBOs). The objective of our capacity building is not merely to build strong leaders and organizations but to help build a strong civil society that will create meaningful change in communities through improvements in health, education, livelihoods, and civic engagement by giving people a greater voice in the political system.
HDI’s organizational capacity development program is unique in that it draws from lessons learned from major development organizations like USAID as well as the private sector, and that it customizes the framework to fit the needs of each individual organization and community. Using a comprehensive, three-tiered organizational assessment tool, we are able to compare baseline scores from these organizations over time to see measured and significant increases in organizational capacity across five keys areas. We also measure the ability of CBOs to deliver service to their communities. Through our assessment process, we can also see increases in outcomes for the communities in areas such as health, rural livelihoods, education, environment, etc.
Click here to download the Creole version of our organizational capacity building application. Submission deadline was March 31, 2018. Check back for next opportunity.